School of the Laity

Upcoming Class Dates

March 14-15th2020 Session: “What’s Wrong with Paul?”

Whether you love him or struggle with some of his writings, the Apostle Paul has had a huge impact on our understanding of the Gospel. Join Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, Professor Emerita from Columbia Seminary, as we listen to what Paul is saying to the church today.

June 26th-28th: “Intro to the Bible” *

If you have ever questioned parts of the Bible, why it was written, and what it might have to say to people today, join Dr. Bob Bryant’s class. Dr. Bryant, Professor of Bible at Presbyterian College and favorite SOL faculty member of many years, will explore the Old and New Testaments, providing insight into who wrote them, how they came to be, and how we can better understand what they say to us today.

*This course is a critical core class for those interested in the full 2-year School of the Laity program.

October 3rd-4th:

“David, Kingship, and the Idea of the Messiah”

David is the most referred to individual in the Bible. Join Dr. Dan Pioske, Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia Southern University, as we examine the biblical fascination with David, texts that describe his humble beginnings, and his eventual rise to the throne in Jerusalem. We will conclude with the concept of the Messiah that originates with David and how this idea is connected to Jesus by the New Testament writers.

March 2020 Registration Form

March Promo

 

Help us promote this excellent presbytery program through Minutes for Mission, bulletin inserts and personal conversations. The Class of 2020 will begin courses this summer.

Here are some thoughts from some of our graduates:

“…The School of the Laity helped me to think out of the box to come up with creative ways to spread the news of Jesus Christ.”

“…The School of the Laity has given me the courage to soar!”

“…The most meaningful part of the School of the Laity for me has been that it has provided a safe place to explore, to question, to express both doubts and disagreements.”

History of School of the Laity

In the fall of 1988, ten laypeople of Savannah Presbytery became the first graduating class of an innovative presbytery ministry know as the School of the Laity. A very demanding program of study requiring a two-year commitment and additional hours of class and preparation time, the School of the Laity was a vision of then Executive Presbyter Dr. J. Richard Bass, who saw the desire of laypersons to engage in serious study of scripture, theology, and ministry.

The students participate in two summer courses taught by college professors. Each session involves eighteen hours of class time and additional hours of personal study. The courses are: Introduction to the Bible and Introduction to Reformed Theology. In the final summer, they complete their studies with an in-depth course in Practical Ministry.

Students complete briefer courses in the spring and fall of two successive years. Savannah Presbytery ministers lead studies on Old Testament, New Testament, History, Mission & Polity and Practical Ministry 1.  To date, over 250 laypeople have participated in the School of the Laity, representing two-thirds of the churches of the presbytery. Its graduates are providing outstanding leadership in their congregations, the presbytery and the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.




History of the
School of the Laity program

2017 School of the Laity graduates, from left: Ken Bailey, Emily Crawford Sanders, Barbara Conner, Daniel Walters

In the fall of 1988, ten laypeople of Savannah Presbytery became the first graduating class of an innovative presbytery ministry know as the School of the Laity. A very demanding program of study requiring a two-year commitment and additional hours of class and preparation time, the School of the Laity was a vision of then Executive Presbyter Dr. J. Richard Bass, who saw the desire of laypersons to engage in serious study of scripture, theology, and ministry.

The students participate in two summer courses taught by college professors. Each session involves eighteen hours of class time and additional hours of personal study. The courses are: Introduction to the Bible and Introduction to Reformed Theology. In the final summer, they complete their studies with an in-depth course in Practical Ministry.

Students complete briefer courses in the spring and fall of two successive years. Savannah Presbytery ministers lead studies on Old Testament, New Testament, History, Mission & Polity and Practical Ministry 1.

To date over 250 laypeople have participated in the School of the Laity, representing two-thirds of the churches of the presbytery. Its graduates are providing outstanding leadership in their congregations, the presbytery and the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.